Archive for June, 2012

How social networks are reshaping our society

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Spreading ideas and news in the web are becoming more common with the emergence of social networks. As long as one person is able to connect to the internet and express their view about a situation or simply about an idea, then the information will get out into the world. In addition, the speed that the information reaches other people is faster than in any other time in humanity. Examples include the earthquakes that rocked the countries of Haiti and Tokyo in Japan; not only were images from these countries being seen around the world but also commentaries and opinions of what people were seeing have been read and heard in real time. Portals such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others are allowing people to share ideas on news, products and services. Needless to say, social media has forever changed the connections of individuals in our society, whether it’s the sharing of an idea, the communication of news, or the availability of a product or service. Society is on the verge of a new way of existing with a level of connectivity and instantaneous access to news and ideas never experienced before. No longer will people from one side of the world be really able to say that they are unable to communicate with someone from the other side of the world. As long as there is a person who wishes to express their opinion or share their content to another human being in another country or culture, social networks will allow them to do so. Societies are changing with the advances in information technology and web-based tools giving more power to the citizens worldwide as exemplified for its impact in presidential campaigns and marketing in politics. One example includes the Obama presidential campaign in 2008 that was highly successful due to social media. Another technological breakthrough that has increased the impact of social networks in society is the emergence of mobile phones (or smart phones) and tablets. These devices have been exponentially used to share information. This is mainly done by text message exchange, video conference and other media tools such as applications (apps) specifically designed to provide information and solutions in different fields, thus facilitating the spread of information and data globally. Examples in the health care sector include the use of mobile devices in nurse-patient communication relationships and to monitor health outcomes in chronic and complex disease inside institutions by health care professionals. Innovative applications of mobile technology are expected to increase over time providing tools to manage complex diseases such as cancer, heart disease, asthma and diabetes the same way it is impacting information exchange in media, commerce and other services. An upcoming breakthrough in mobile technology will be to track patient’s health using these devices in real time. We are indeed living in the most exciting time in information technology. Now we have to wait and see what comes next in this evolving field…